Lactalis launches takeover bid for Parmalat

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French dairy giant Lactalis launched its takeover bid for Parmalat on Monday despite opposition from the Italian company's board to the 3.4-billion-euro ($4.8-billion) offer.

Parmalat shares were stable at 2.602 euros on the Milan stock exchange at the start of trading. Lactalis already owns a 29-percent stake in Parmalat and made its surprise takeover offer last month at 2.60 euro a share.

Italy's financial regulator gave the go-ahead to the takeover this month.

But Parmalat's board, advised by Goldman Sachs, rejected the takeover offer, saying it "did not fully reflect" the value of the company. Lactalis and Parmalat combined would create the top dairy company in the world.

© 2011 AFP

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